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Old January 2, 2019, 06:14 PM   #1
HighValleyRanch
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Lightest and smallest reloading press?

I already have a Rock Chucker 1 press setup, but thinking about looking into a very portable, lightweight moblie setup for car, camping, prepper, etc.

This will be mainly for 9mm and .38 spl/.357 pistol/rifle loads.

Any other choices between the lyman and lee hand presses?
A super lightweight stationary press?
Advantages and disavantages of the lyman 310 tool vs. lee hand press.
The lyman looks outdated and expensive, but very portable.
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Old January 2, 2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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The Buchanan Precision Machine hand reloading press is a remake of the older Huntington hand press, it's spendy but looks well made, seen here.

Another option is the Harrel's Precision compact reloading press, also expensive, at this link.

I have no experience with either press, buying one of these is too extravagant for me.
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:20 PM   #3
Mobuck
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LEE open front C-type
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the links. Very informative. I wasn't aware that existed.
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:34 PM   #5
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Maybe not the lightest, but it's very portable has a small footprint. Love it when away from my Rock Chucker, and I like it mounted next to my Rock Chucker as well.....excels at pistol, handy used right along side the R.C.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i9phIfc0SE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rp7lYXvbMw

Last edited by GWS; January 2, 2019 at 07:40 PM.
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:44 PM   #6
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if all you are doing is seating an arbor press works great, I have also used the Lee handloader and have a Lee O press mounted on a board that I take along with a couple of woodworking bar clamps. I have used all three and if you have well prepped cases you would no difference in runout and of the three the Lee O is the most useful
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Old January 2, 2019, 09:53 PM   #7
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I've used the Lee Hand Tool at the range for decades for in situ reloading. Not easy resizing bottleneck rifle cases, but for what you are doing it is a breeze. Uses standard dies.
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:11 PM   #8
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You may want to consider an arbor press from Sinclair.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcwn0aM2l6U
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Old January 3, 2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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The Lee breech lock reloader is small, light and cheap.

This one cost me $20 with a bunch of extra bushings.



They are $35 new.

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/80...content=807734


It’s a lot slower than other mobile setups I have though.

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Old January 3, 2019, 11:07 AM   #10
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I bought the Lee 'C' style press for the same purpose. Mine is unusable. The ram binds terribly.
I would choose another brand and get a small 'O' frame press like the RCBS Partner.
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Old January 3, 2019, 11:48 AM   #11
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I’ve been using an RCBS Partner press for over 25 years, it is a great light duty press. It may be fine for heavy duty too, but I always use my RS-5 for that. The Partner is very light and reasonably small - mine is high quality, but then it is pretty old.

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Old January 3, 2019, 02:56 PM   #12
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I have a Lee Turret but until I can move it to my farm house I don’t want to sit in an un heated garage. This has been the case now for about 4 years and in that time I have reloaded in the warmth with a Lee Hand Press. It’s not always the most ergonomic to use but I have done everything with from .38 to .308 with the exception of pulling rifle bullets from surplus ammo. For the price I’d say it’s hard to beat.
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Old January 3, 2019, 03:20 PM   #13
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If weight is your concern, wouldn’t it be lighter to just bring lots of extra ammo to begin with? Sorry but that makes much more sense. Now if you’re just looking for an excuse to buy a new toy I can understand that.
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Old January 3, 2019, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jag2 View Post
If weight is your concern, wouldn’t it be lighter to just bring lots of extra ammo to begin with? Sorry but that makes much more sense. Now if you’re just looking for an excuse to buy a new toy I can understand that.
That's what I was thinking.

Hauling around primers, powders, and bullets seems like a much larger inconvenience then hauling around loaded ammo. Loaded ammo can be stored in anything - magazines, ammo pouch, ammo cans, ziploc baggies, etc. Unless your planning on shooting the same brass again and again and again the weight saving won't be much.
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Old January 3, 2019, 03:46 PM   #15
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Hahaha, pretty sure he's talking about on-the-fly load development and testing far more than having a tiny portable setup so he can lounge around a gun range and feed his guns rather than bringing ammo.
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Old January 3, 2019, 03:56 PM   #16
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I've been using two Lee Hand Presses for several years. Does all my handgun and 30-30 loading. The cost is affordable , uses standard dies and shell holders , the press and everything you need to reload fits into a gym / tote bag . I bring my "range bag" to work and do a lot of reloading at my desk ! That's important work in my book !
I have three bench mounted presses but I use the hand press most often.

The Buchanan is the Lexus model of hand press , by the time it came along I was happy with my two Lee presses.
I find the Lyman units somewhat costly .
Try a Lee Hand Press you can always upgrade and you will always find a use for the Lee doing little odd jobs.
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Old January 3, 2019, 04:23 PM   #17
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It somewhat depends on the details.One cartridge,or multi-cartridge? Is a bunch of primed brass practical,or do you need to size decap? There are options.

You can charge and cork in bullets with a Wilson in line seater.

I have comfortably loaded .223 ,sizing and all,with a Lee hand press

Even if you have a Dillon 1050 a press such as a Partner is a useful tool on your bench. It can come off with wing nuts.

All around and simple? There is not much risk in the price of a Lee hand press.
Its light,compact,and capable.
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Old January 4, 2019, 02:08 AM   #18
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It's kind of a no brainer really . The Lee hand press is what you're asking for although it may not be what you actually want . I have one and it works just fine but I rarely use it other then seating depth adjustments at the range .

https://www.midwayusa.com/s?userSear...temsPerPage=48
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Old January 4, 2019, 09:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
If weight is your concern, wouldn’t it be lighter to just bring lots of extra ammo to begin with? Sorry but that makes much more sense. Now if you’re just looking for an excuse to buy a new toy I can understand that.
With the setup in #9, the 2nd photo. I can work up loads to PF using 4 different powders with 4 different bullet types and load enough extra for testing in under 3 hours. Loading at home then going to the range (before I built one in my backyard) would take weeks to do the same and/or leave me with a bunch of ammunition I would need to pull down.
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Old January 4, 2019, 10:53 AM   #20
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So now if your goal is load development you would need to add your calipers and scale (not sure how well that would travel) to the load and I just remembered some sort of case lube and maybe a variety of powders. Just keeps getting worse.
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Old January 4, 2019, 11:23 AM   #21
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I used to try the range loading drill and found it a pain.

Now for rifle I load up 40 to 50 cases at home for my tests. The first 4 to 10 are pressure tests set .3 to .5 grains apart seated .025 off lands.The next 20 I seat at various seating depths from .100 from lands to on the lands using a mild charge weight in the middle of the test weight range. I shoot the pressure test first. Then the 20 to get a rough idea on seating depth.

The last 20 or so are loaded at home with the powder charge weight test with three or five rounds in increments of no less than .3 gns and no more than .5 rounds and seated at max length to the lands. I do a final seating at the range using the Lee and seat them at the best length determined by the seating depth test. These are shot these across a chrony to look for velocity nodes and grouping patterns. Completely Eliminates the pain of measuring powder at the range and allows optimum seating depth determination with fewest rounds fired.

here is a thread with pics and a better explanation. Turned out the 43.5 and 2.281 used in the seating depth test had the best numbers. I followed this with a 15 shot test at 300 the other day and it held a .6 MOA test group so I am loading 25 more to do a test at 600 and 800 to get the scope dope next week

I just lucked out on this one, sometimes follow up trips are needed to tweak in and fine seating depth and charges


https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=599693
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Old January 4, 2019, 12:05 PM   #22
Don Fischer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jag2 View Post
If weight is your concern, wouldn’t it be lighter to just bring lots of extra ammo to begin with? Sorry but that makes much more sense. Now if you’re just looking for an excuse to buy a new toy I can understand that.
I could see where the small lite press could be handy! It's 3 mi to where I shoot so if I'm testing loads I could haul along enough primer's, powder and bullet's to put together some new loads to try right there! On the other hand if the loads are already worked up and I'm out somewhere, I think simply bringing a bunch of ammo is the thing to do.
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Old January 4, 2019, 12:23 PM   #23
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I could see where the small lite press could be handy! It's 3 mi to where I shoot so if I'm testing loads I could haul along enough primer's, powder and bullet's to put together some new loads to try right there! On the other hand if the loads are already worked up and I'm out somewhere, I think simply bringing a bunch of ammo is the thing to do.
Decapping and neck sizing is the easy part. From my experience measuring powder at the range is a pain in the butt even on the calmest days. You need to have a wind proof enclosure for measuring and transferring. Not a problem if you are throwing directly to the case like the benchrest guys do but trying to get down to a tenth of as grain is a different story. I made up a rig where I could weigh and trickle out of the wind but Murphy's law would kick in when I was getting the pan to the case and the wind would suddenly kick up and send half a grain to the range gods

I saw one of our club members set up his reloading station in the men's room one day when he was developing a load. Even a 1 mph breeze will blow powder or send the scale reading off into the ozone.

good luck though and if you can come up with a workable rig post pics, I would love to be able to get good measurements at the range on occasion
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Old January 4, 2019, 11:35 PM   #24
jmorris
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Quote:
So now if your goal is load development you would need to add your calipers and scale (not sure how well that would travel) to the load and I just remembered some sort of case lube and maybe a variety of powders. Just keeps getting worse.
Take a closer look at the 2nd photo in #9. The calipers are sitting on top of the 3 ring binder so I can write down what I learn. In the cake pan lid, on top of the cooler, is the scale, so I can zero the scale and then weigh powder charges without air drafts effecting readings. You really don’t need any case lube for anything if you are just working up loads.

If you plan ahead all your brass is already sized, trimmed if needed and primed with your choice of primers, so you are just dumping powder, seating a bullet and maybe crimping.

You don’t need a super “strong like bull” press for any of thoes operations.

In any case the op is talking about 9mm, 357/38spl. Just not that complicated unless he is going to try to shoot benchrest with them. Against better suited rifles and rounds, further efforts wouldn’t do him much good anyway at that point.

Last edited by jmorris; January 4, 2019 at 11:42 PM.
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Old January 5, 2019, 09:10 PM   #25
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Lyman has a small c-frame press they call a "Brass Smith". I've been looking at it but haven't purchased yet so I couldn't tell you how solid it is from experience yet. It's made of cast iron so it might not make your weight requirement but size-wise it appears pretty compact.

Lyman makes pretty good stuff; I think I'm going to order one soon just to use with my universal depriming die. $75.00 at the usual internet suppliers.
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